National Retail Federation predicts parents will buy less for children as they head back to school

Target, Wal-Mart offering deals

(NBC News) It's certainly understandable your school-age children don't want to think about having to head back to class soon, but retail experts say it can pay off big for you, especially if you start this weekend.

Back to school shopping is a $72 billion industry, which is why some stores have gotten an early jump on sales this summer.

A downward change in the economy is behind a National Retail Federation finding that one in five families actually plan to spend less this year, which explains why competition among retailers has already heated up.

Experts say, however, that while prices have been low, your best chance to get the best back to school sales might end this weekend.

"This is really the weekend ... the crowds are going to start to gather in August, the deals are going to change," said Dan DiClerico a Senior Editor for Consumer Reports.

"Really deep discounts on wardrobe basics, so blue jeans, socks, underwear, sneakers...these types of items are being heavily discounted."

DiClerico just wrote about back-to-school sales this summer and came up with a lot to like, especially for college students.

"Target and Wal-Mart, for example, both have huge, very targeted campaigns, so we're seeing some fantastic deals on small appliances.  Things like personal blenders, pod coffee makers, things that are very popular with college students," said DiClerico.

He says prices on electronics have also been slashed 30 percent to 50 percent to include computers tablets and cellphones.

And there are more opportunities to save next weekend in Florida.  The state's back-to-school sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m., Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, and ends at midnight, Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014.

Courtesy: NBC News